Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chinese Fans wish Chester well, plan party

BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Linkin Park fans expressed regret at the cancellation of the U.S. band's upcoming China tour due to lead singer Chester Bennington's injured back.

"You got to be kidding! I've been waiting for years. Hope you will get well soon and come back," netizen Maggie wrote on Linkin Park's website.

"Oh my God" and "Bless Chester" were the most common messages after the announcement of the tour cancellation on Tuesday on the BBS of the site where there were more than 43,000registered Linkin Park fans.

"It's much better to put off than to cancel the concerts. Chester may come to China and try our acupuncture treatment," netizen LP joked.

The organizer of the Shanghai-based Linkin Park Fans Club, Johnny Mark, wrote on the BBS that although the tour was cancelled many fans would still assemble on Oct. 12 to attend the "fans party" and sing together the songs of the California nu-metal act.

"Chao, a fan from northeast China's Heilongjiang Province planned to arrive in Shanghai as scheduled," Mark wrote. "I am so touched, and we will sing their songs all night and we all hope for Chester's recovery."

Linkin Park cancelled all five of its China dates this month in Shanghai, Beijing, Macao, Taipei and Wuhan.

Taiwanese rock band Mayday was to open the shows in a mixture of East meets West.

The news disappointed thousands of fans of both bands in China. Some who do not live in the host cities had already booked train tickets and hotel rooms and planned their schedule.

Bennington was under a doctor's orders to refrain from traveling and physical activity, the statement said. The band's Oct. 6 concert in Las Vegas was also cancelled.

The concerts in China were organized to raise funds for victims of the May 12 Sichuan earthquake that killed nearly 70,000. Linkin Park said it would still donate to the reconstruction efforts in the quake-hit region.

Qiao Guanyuan, a Shanghai college student, bought tickets one month ago and planned to see the band with five friends, "I am a super fan of Linkin Park and I am so upset."

He said he began listening to the band in high school, starting with the group's first disc "Hybrid Theory," his favorite.

"I took the ticket with me for the whole month, and now I am going to take a picture with it. We have only one Chester. We can wait till he gets better."

The six-piece band is one of the most popular Western bands in China, with two Asian-American members, Mike Shinoda and DJ Joseph Hahn.

In November 2007, Linkin Park sold out its Chinese mainland debut in Shanghai.

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